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£2m windfall for Great Lines City Park

Plans for the Great Lines City Park have received a £2 million cash boost.

The money will be used to restore and revitalise the historic Napoleonic defences.

It will also help the bid to make the Great Lines and Chatham's Historic Dockyard listed as a World Heritage Site.

The announcement was made on Wednesday morning by Margaret Beckett, the government minister for the Thames Gateway.

The money will be used to restore heritage features, open up new access routes and bring new life to the park.

Funding will come from the government's Communities and Local Government (CLG) “Parklands” fund.

This is meant to support the preservation and enhancement of outstanding heritage and green space within the Thames Gateway.

Cllr Rodney Chambers, Leader of Medway Council and Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said:“[The] decision to invest in the future of the Great Lines reflects the outstanding significance of Chatham's World Heritage and the major role it will play in Medway's regeneration.

“The Great Lines City Park will enable everyone to take pride in Chatham's past and to have great confidence in Medway's future."

More than 270 local residents and other interested parties have already spent the summer creating a master plan for the park.

This includes free access to Fort Amherst, a new footbridge connecting the Fort and Great Lines and a vastly improved network of paths connecting Chatham, Gillingham and Brompton.

In all, the Great Lines City Park will cover almost 70 hectares, from Medway Maritime Hospital to the universities at Medway campus.

Heritage funding bid celebration

The Chatham World Heritage Partnership will be celebrating the success of the application at a special gathering at Fort Amherst, from 6pm on Wednesday December 10.

Plans for the £2m spend will be on display in the Fort’s visitor centre and refreshments will be served in the candlelit tunnels.

People attending the event will also have an opportunity to choose a name for the park.

• Anyone can attend, but places must be booked in advance.

Email chathamworldheritage@medway.gov.uk.

Alternativelyc call 01634 331176 by December 3.

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